Alabama Suspends Block Seating for Those Who Left Game Early

by Kent Sterling

Raise a few of these, and you get to make crazy demands of the student season ticket holders.

Raise a few of these, and you get to make crazy demands of the student season ticket holders.

When you win National Championships like clockwork, demanding and irrational behavior is tolerated.  Alabama suspended the block seating privileges of 20 student organizations Friday because they are prone to leave early during the regular blowouts in Tuscaloosa.

The scores of the five home games this season have been 35-10, 31-6, 25-0, 45-3, and 52-0 or an aggregate 188-19.  To say the games lack drama is like saying McDonald’s hamburgers lack beef.

Coach Nick Saban’s quote to the Anniston Star about the fans is as strange as the policy that allowed Alabama officials to rescind the privileges, “My sense of it is, I always say the fans are a part of the team.  Everybody else should have the same sort of commitment. You don’t have to do the work all week, you don’t have to practice, you don’t have to come in at 7 in the morning and leave at 11 at night, you don’t have to do any of that stuff.  All you have to do is come to the game, drink beer, do whatever you want, party in the parking lot. I’ve never been at a tailgate in my life. All I’m asking is that you just come and have fun and stay for the whole game.”

I guess after outscoring his five home opponents by an average of almost 34 points, Saban can lose focus on the quality of play on the field, and allow his eyes and attention to wander to the empty seats during the fourth quarter.

Saban didn’t bother to mention the part where the fans aren’t members of the team, that they pay for tickets to attend the game, and that they are actually customers.  The tickets for students only cost $10 each, but the students are still the customers.

The old saying, a saying people don’t pay too much attention to anymore, is “the customer is always right.”  At Bryant-Denny Stadium, not only is the customer not always right, they are penalized for having the temerity to exercise their free will long after the result of the game they have paid to witness has been decided.

There is a bar in the Broad Ripple neighborhood of Indianapolis called The Red Key, and the owner used to mandate that everyone in the bar sit, no one swears, and coat were hung properly on a coat rack.  Russ Settle gave character to the bar with his strict rules, about which he was very serious.

Saban and the collective boobery mandate attendance at a football game as though it’s an Abnormal Psych class.  They happily mimic Settle’s zealous need to control, but strip all of the fun and whimsy.  There is nothing whimsical about false imprisonment.

If I were an Alabama fan, I would tell Saban to go pound salt, and I would tailgate and then repair to a bar or apartment to watch the games with friends, but I went to Indiana, and that was the obvious choice regardless of Lee Corso, Sam Wyche, or Bill Mallory’s feelings.

5 thoughts on “Alabama Suspends Block Seating for Those Who Left Game Early

  1. donna garner

    Saban did not ask for them to ban the block seating holders…..he just asked them to stay the whole game. This whole thing is being taking out of context and I guess since he does his job so well that you have to find something to make a mountain out of. These organizations know that it is unacceptable behavior…it clearly states that in the guidelines to hold these special seating. Let me help you with the research and might I add you are lucky Saban even shared a message with you the way he hates the media….and this is exactly why he does detest those. Why make a spin out of ok here you go…straight from the student handbook.In the Student Organization Seating handbook, updated in July 2013, “excessive tardiness or early departure from the stadium” is listed as “unacceptable behavior.”

    According to the handbook, an organization’s first offense would result in the loss of block seating for the next conference game and the second offense would result in the loss of seating for all remaining games.

    Both sanctions would also include a point deduction on the organization’s block seating application for the 2014 year.

    Organizations would be banned from applying for block seating in 2014 if levied with a third offense it…The media has a job responsibility to get it right…not to make a spin out of it to get more media…. It is just like everything else that has rules..they are there for a reason…and it is not your place or my place to dictate our inference.

    1. Jeff Russell

      In Alabama, there is a law that states ” It is illegal to wear a fake moustache in church that causes laughter.” It is unenforced, much as the stupid student handbook rule should not be. Is this Russia (it isn’t, is it?)

    2. kentsterling Post author

      I saw the handbook entries, which only articulate the idiocy of the rule. We are “lucky” that Saban talked to us? If you want to ordain him the Pope of Alabama, you go right ahead.

      That you would defend the policy and Saban’s response speaks is peculiar.

      By the way, it is exactly my place to “dictate our inference”, whatever the hell that means.


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